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State Police Laboratory Maintains Nationally Recognized Accreditation
Updated June 3, 2017 8:15 PM | Filed under: Crime
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana State Police Laboratory Division has again successfully completed an internationally renowned accreditation process which assesses the quality of laboratory operations and scientific procedures. The Indiana State Police laboratories have been accredited since 1991.

The four state police laboratories, located in Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and Lowell have successfully met the rigorous forensic laboratory standards of International Standardization for Organization ISO/IEC 17025:2005. This is the standard recognized by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) International Accreditation Program for Forensic Laboratories which recently merged with ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).

The significance of this re-accreditation demonstrates adherence to the exceedingly high requirements continually practiced at each state police laboratory facility. This evaluation system provides the general public, and professionals with the Indiana criminal justice system, continued assurance that state police forensic laboratory operations and scientific procedures are meeting the highest standards.

The path to re-accreditation began the week of February 6, 2017 with a detailed audit of the four state police laboratories. As part of the re-accreditation process 16 trained assessors from across the nation evaluated the policies, procedures, training manuals and work product of each laboratory.

"The inspectors reviewed every aspect of our operations at each of our four laboratories," said Eric Lawrence, Director of Forensic Analysis for the State Police, who served as the main contact throughout the inspection process. "At each location inspectors poured through our laboratory reports and viewed on-site documentation and observed actual casework. Laboratory Division staff and scientists were interviewed and observed to verify existing procedures and to ensure compliance with more than 500 specific ISO standards reviewed during the week long inspection. The thorough analysis included reviewing laboratory report findings, data documentation, analytical processes, training, education and qualifications of each staff member." Lawrence concluded.

While not mandatory, the ASCLD/LAB-ANAB accreditation process demonstrates the laboratory's commitment of its management, personnel, operational and technical procedures, equipment and physical facilities to meeting established, independent, third-party standards. Accreditation is one facet of the ISP Forensic Laboratory System's quality assurance program, which also includes proficiency testing, continuing education and other programs to help Indiana State Police laboratories provide better overall service to the criminal justice system.

The four laboratories, comprised of 176 employees, provide forensic services at no charge to federal, state, county and local agencies throughout the State of Indiana. Those services include tests for firearm and tool mark comparisons; identification of controlled substances; trace examinations; questioned documents; latent prints; forensic biology/DNA and maintenance of the state DNA database. The Division also provides polygraph examinations and crime scene investigations, upon request. The Laboratory Division received nearly 20,000 new cases for analysis in 2016. Crime Scene Investigators responded and worked more than 1,100 crime scenes. The Polygraph Unit conducted 610 polygraph tests in 2016.

"The accreditation under the rigorous ISO standards in an outstanding accomplishment." said Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter. "The acquirement of this accreditation is a testament to the excellent work of all the dedicated employees of the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division. This recognition exemplifies the professionalism and dedication that is the standard of the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division."

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